Friday, September 30, 2022

Cobalt, EVs and Unicorns

My apologies in advance for not extracting the pertinent information from the many links in this post. Blame it on Latter Day Luddite computer skills.

Electric vehicles are the coming thing according to the (P)regressives and evironazis.  Not so fast Bucky. Buried in Xiben’s master plan is a smoke and mirrors “tax Incentive”. Those vehicles require batteries of which 40% must include minerals sourced in the USA. Those quantities don’t exist!

Key point. The climate deal struck yesterday by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin would significantly expand consumer tax credits for electric vehicles by offering a $7,500 tax credit to people buying an EV made with a certain percentage of minerals mined or processed in nations with U.S. free trade agreements, or recycled in North America.

But there’s a catch: The EV supply chain required for the tax credit doesn’t exist.

Minerals required to make market-ready EV batteries — lithium, cobalt, graphite and nickel — are primarily mined, refined and processed in China and Russia or in less adversarial nations like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia that aren’t parties to U.S. free trade agreements (Greenwire, Feb. 24).

Should your stomach tolerate it, here is the official White House bill of goods.

One of several key materials needed for the batteries is cobalt. While batteries can be made without cobalt, they then operate at higher temperatures which decreases efficiency (and increase the risk of fires).

Go EV and support child slavery.

Develop our own sources? Not that easy.

Another metal needed is lithium. We have a potential domestic source. From an older blog.

Why would we want to exploit this source? The existing infrastructure (highways, railroad) are nearby. A skilled labor pool of experienced workers doing similar work is in place. The raw materials needed for the extraction process is nearby in large quantities from mining operations operating for decades.

To answer my own question, too many rice bowls will be broken and the owners of those bowls wield vast influence.

Enter now a key player, the Environment Protection Agency. While some estimates place the number of lawyers in the agency at 1,000, the agency officially acknowledges 185. How many mining engineers?  One clue is a letter from 2015 in response to the Gold King Mine mitigation disaster.

This is our reality. The regulatory oversight is so burdensome ten years is the expected time for securing all the required sign offs. Large sums must be invested by the private sector with payback measured in decades. At anytime the political winds may change and the projects halted.

“If you build it, they will come” might work for baseball. That is no guarantee for anything else. My take is the environazis pushing this agenda believe, if there is no other choice, people will make it happen. Personally, I can envision other outcomes.

As many other bloggers have pointed out, the generating capacity needed to charge all those batteries doesn’t exist and will take decades to create. Even if enough electricity is available to individual house (people will want to charge overnight) those homes were never wired to handle the amperes need. How many people will sit for an hour at some charging station? There are many charging stations I drive by and I seldom see any in use.

As always, YMMV


Ed Campbell said...

I think the powers that be are trying to do the same thing that was done with adding ethanol to gas. Invent a need, provide huge incentives, and then stand back. Trouble is we have a bunch of corn, it was already plentiful. The metals to make batteries, developing that capability; the price will be in the trillions. Look at all the opportunities for a little graft.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Excellent points.

Old NFO said...

Smoke, mirrors, and BS as usual...

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Agree. It will accelerate our country's bankruptcy.

RHT447 said...

What happens when the revenue from gasoline taxes dries up?

Well Seasoned Fool said...

They start taxing electricity far more than they do now.

Anonymous said...

Consider the logic. They force a vehicle which is much worse operating and much higher priced on the population. There is no means to make it truly operate. End result: population's freedom of movement has been removed. Just not as obviously as setting up poll stations and asking "papers, please". Then blame, then, can be directed at the electrons (electricity) that have no voice and true perpetrators walk/fly free.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I generally delete anonymous comments. Your has merit.